As talks of metropolitan flavor bans spread from coast to coast, local politicians continue to insist that smoking and vaping are equally hazardous to public health. They further muddy the waters of public perception by falsely claiming that vaping is a gateway to smoking, especially among teens and young adults. Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) disputes these outrageous claims per its recently published national statistics. The CDC report entitled Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011–2017 also clearly indicates that teen vaping is dropping rather than rising in the previous two years.
Politicians and anti-tobacco activists who regularly and intentionally spread disinformation about the health benefits of vaping compared to smoking are doing more harm to public health than good. As far back as 2015, the UK’s Public Health England published research indicating that electronic cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than combustible tobacco. Now, a new study released by American scientists from the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is Buffalo, New York, has proven that the vapor from e-cigs is far less carcinogenic compared to the smoke from combustible cigarettes.
Overview of the vaping study
Led by Dr. Maciej Goniewicz, the researchers began by soliciting the help of some twenty volunteers who were also current daily smokers. The participants were asked to transition to vaping for at least 14-days. Dual usage would cause the participant to be kicked off the study, some of which were. In fact, only 45 percent of the control group were successful in making a full transition. While this figure many sound a bit low, it is actually quite high when compared to the success rates of more conventional nicotine replacement therapies like Big Pharma patches, gums, and lozenges.
Throughout the vaping study, Dr. Goniewicz and his team collected biomarker samples of blood and urine from each participant while evaluating for 17 major carcinogens commonly associated with combustible tobacco smoke. In addition, they monitored for 13 specific carcinogens associated with the common ingredients of tobacco cigarettes, 8 associated volatile organic compounds, 4 associated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and 7 associated metabolites. What they discovered is that in nearly all categories, participants who successfully made the switch to vaping experienced dramatic decreases across the board within the first week.
“In total, 45% of participants reported complete abstinence from cigarette smoking at 2 weeks, while 55% reported continued smoking. Levels of total nicotine and some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites did not change after switching from tobacco to e-cigarettes. All other biomarkers significantly decreased after 1 week of using e-cigarettes (p < .05). After 1 week, the greatest percentage reductions in biomarkers levels were observed for metabolites of 1,3-butadiene, benzene, and acrylonitrile. Total NNAL, a metabolite of NNK, declined by 57% and 64% after 1 and 2 weeks, respectively, while 3-hydroxyfluorene levels declined by 46% at week 1, and 34% at week 2.”
In short, the Roswell team discovered that smokers who completely switch to vaping without dual usage can lower their exposure to major carcinogens and toxins commonly found in combustible tobacco by as much as 57 percent within the first 7-days. After two weeks, those numbers can climb as high as 64 percent or greater. The Roswell Park research entitled Exposure to Nicotine and Selected Toxicants in Cigarette Smokers Who Switched to Electronic Cigarettes: A Longitudinal Within-Subjects Observational Study is published online via the Oxford Academic Nicotine and Tobacco Research website. In other vaping news, the American Cancer Society has also recently endorsed vaping as a significantly safer alternative to smoking – finally!
Related Article: American Cancer Society officially endorses vaping – finally!